It Could Always Be Worse

Posted by Anthony Mango Sunday, November 16, 2008

How often do you hear the phrase "Well, it could be worse"? Has anybody actually sat down and thought about the weight of such a statement? When you boil away the blissful ignorance of such a phrase, it becomes one of the most depressing things ever.

Optimists will claim that you should be thankful of what you have. Die hard pessimists will claim that what you have is nothing to be thankful for. But where does this phrase fit in? You'll never hear a pessimist saying it unless they're doing it to be sarcastic, and here's why: what exactly is there to celebrate in the fact that there is the potential for things to downgrade? How can it possibly make sense to say "you should be happy, because there's a chance you're on a downhill slope and in no time, you might be thinking it was better to be in this position rather than the horrors you'll be thrust into".

Things could always be worse. That's not reassuring in the slightest bit. The reassurance would be from a line such as "things are bad right now, but most of the time, these things work out for the better", or "you have a problem, but I've got the solution", or "maybe this isn't so bad after all, because..." not "well, be thankful you've lost your legs, because you could've lost your arms too".

For most of my life, my luck has been defined as "I probably shouldn't complain, because I don't have many serious problems to deal with", and I still maintain that outlook. To go along with the "it could always be worse" sentiment, I truly am lucky enough not to be one of the less fortunate people out there. I have no terminal illness, my family cares about me, I live rather comfortably (meaning my family struggles with bills all the time but we still own a decent house), and I'm gifted in my intelligence and at least moderately gifted in my looks.

But there has always been a voodoo needle in my spine when it comes to luck. If there's a possibility for something to go wrong, it almost always does.

So I've been thinking....I'm not a religious man at all. I won't believe in anything unless I have factual evidence, but I won't rule out the possibilities without factual evidence that can disapprove. That's only reasonable. But when nothing seems to make sense, you start looking for answers. For someone that doesn't believe in karma, I try to make up for the possibility of its existence by still trying to be a nice guy. However, it seems that the nicer I am to everyone else, the worse my own life gets. Maybe its time to be a little selfish. It goes against all logic, because theoretically, kind deeds should go rewarded and antagonist attitudes should be punished, but if kind deeds are getting you nowhere but a few extra feet deeper in the mud, maybe its time to let go and make everyone else get a little dirty. Maybe I need a philosophical shower. If I was being tested by some higher power, its cruelty, not hardening your defenses. If karma was biting me in the ass, the system is flawed and in reverse, punishing those who try to brighten up the world around them in more ways than one. It makes no sense for simple mathematical probability to be the culprit, as flipping a coin 100 times should result in a fairly 50/50 ratio, give or take, but certainly not 70/30 for tails.

True...things could always be worse...but I think right now it may be a better strategy to sink the ship in a blaze of glory and die fighting rather than patching up every little pinhole and triple-checking every module just to find out that someone's sabotaged things all along and you're doomed no matter what.

True...things could always be worse...but I see no reassurance of hope or happiness in the thought that I should be grateful for unnecessary strikes because I was spared the full extent of the torment.

True...things could always be worse...but I may very well be forced to act selfishly to balance out the negatives, and unfortunately, that leaves everyone else sinking in the quicksand and my hand not reaching backwards to offer assistance.

True...things could always be worse...but I am worth much more than "worse".

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